My Favorite Beauty Essentials

Published by bryanboy

I like to think of myself as pretty low-maintenance. Ok, perhaps not as low maintenance as other ‘wash and go’ people but cut me some slack. My lifestyle is quite stressful and absurd. I’m thirty two years old, I smoke like a chimney, I drink, I eat too much, I don’t get enough sleep and I travel a lot. I don’t even want to think about what I’d look like without the aid of, well, modern science. It’s very important to take care of ourselves. I know people who look extremely good without using a ton of products (you know, the ones who literally wake up instagram-ready) but I also know so many kids who look busted in the face and I’m like much older than them.

I haven’t done a beauty post in a while so let me share some of my beauty essentials. These are the core products that I personally cannot live without. One thing to keep in mind is that whatever works for me may not work for other people. We’re all different from each other. We all have different skin types, different sensitivity issues, etc.

Daytime Skincare Routine
I start my beauty routine with Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser with salicylic acid. I’ve been using this cleanser for the past year now with my oily/combination skin and it helps prevent break outs. I use the cleanser with my Clarisonic brush. The super chic Dr. Lisa Airan introduced me to it a few years ago. It’s the best way to clean the face! I must say that I don’t the Clarisonic brush every morning though because I don’t want to over exfoliate my face.

I know it’s bad but I usually skip the toning part and go straight to moisturize. I use La Prairie’s Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal cream. It’s my favorite day moisturizer. I love how it moisturizes my skin without making it greasy.

Bryanboy's daytime beauty routine featuring Clarisonic, Murad and La Prairie
Clarisonic Mia 2 Brush, $150 (buy), Murad Clarifying Cleanser, $35 (buy), La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Cream, $310 (buy)

Make Up
The thing about make-up is the whole catch-22 situation. Make-up is the best way to cover imperfections but too much make-up is also bad for your skin. I wouldn’t be using make-up if I had flawless skin. Personally-speaking, I use make-up for two reasons — color correction and to cover some of my pores. This is why I keep my make-up routine fairly simple. I have fairly oily skin so I start with Murad’s oil control mattifier and then I use my beloved Giorgio Armani luminous silk foundation. It’s the BEST foundation I’ve ever tried in my whole life. I like how it’s very light and it doesn’t make me break out. To control shine, I use Make Up Forever’s HD powder throughout the day. My favorite lip balm is Chanel. I like how it moisturizes my lips without making me look like I made out with a bottle of olive oil.

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Murad Oil Control Mattifier, $40 (buy), Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation #8, $63 (buy), Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Powder, $35 (buy), Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Lip Balm, $35 (buy)

Finishing
My favourite fragrance of all time is Sugar Lychee by Fresh. I’ve been using it for years. I buy it by the truckload, no joke. The scent is so clean and, well, fresh! I love lychees. I love a good lychee martini too. Look, I have a policy — you can always tell a person what they like to drink based on how they smell. Whenever I go to bars or clubs and when people ask me what perfume I’m wearing, I always tell them one thing — VODKA! Haha! ;-)

As you know, I’m not really a big fan of men’s perfumes because I find most of them so putrid and strong. I can’t stand musky smells. I’ve tried so many men’s perfumes that people give me I always end up regifting them during the holiday season.

I can’t remember which airport it was exactly but I was trolling around the duty free counters lo and behold I tried Miss Dior for the first time and dang, it smells soo good! It’s my perfume of the moment. It’s soo good that I ended up buying the deodorant as well. AND IT WORKS! After all these years I finally gave myself a deodorant upgrade! I’ve been ultra loyal to Secret because it’s the only deodorant that works with my body chemistry but Miss Dior took it up another notch. It feels so light, it’s not sticky and best of all, it doesn’t stain my clothes. Best deodorant EVER! It really pays to explore duty free counters (instead of getting drunk at the airport lounge) when you have spare time before your flight.

I get sweaty easily during the day so I try to avoid using lotions and moisturizers on my body. At night however, I go for Santa Maria Novella’s vanilla body cream. It’s my favorite Santa Maria Novella product. I always go to them whenever I go to Florence. It’s one of the world’s oldest pharmacies. They were founded in 1221!

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Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella Crema Corpo Vanilla Body Cream, $75 (buy), Fresh Sugar & Lychee Eau de Parfum, $88 (buy), Miss Dior Deodorant Parfume Perfumed Deodorant, $45 (buy), Miss Dior Eau de Parfum, $115 (buy)

Night Time Routine
Before going to sleep, I always clean my face using my Clarisonic Mia 2 brush with Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser. I follow it up with Santa Maria Novella’s rose water. A lot of people use all sorts of toners but I like the smell of rose water. Once my face is dry, I take a few drops of Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. Then I use La Prairie’s Cellular Radiance Night Cream. This night cream, my dearest ladies, is a miracle worker. I started using this night cream last year and my face is hydrated and softer. For the eyes, I use the White Caviar Illuminating Eye Cream, also from La Prairie. Out of all the areas of my face, it’s the eyes (dark circles) that I find extremely challenging to deal with.

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Murad Clarifying Cleanser, $35 (buy), Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella Acqua Di Rose Rose Water, $60 (buy), La Prairie Cellular Radiance Night Cream, $630 (buy), La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Eye Cream, $360 (buy), Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, $52 (buy)

Travel Essentials
I use the charcoal mask from Origins once a week. As you all know, I travel so much and because of time constraints, it’s almost impossible to get a regular facial. Any product that helps clean out my pores is a good thing.

I keep my inflight beauty products to a bare minimum. I hate the idea of bringing so many beauty products with me on the plane because every product is interconnected with one another. For example, I don’t want to use creams while I’m sleeping on the plane because I’ll be shiny when I land. And the only way not to be shiny is to wash your face, so on and so forth. So what I do is, I go to the bathroom, wash my face with water and then use Skinceuticals B5 gel. To keep me hydrated, I’ll spritz my face with Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir throughout the plane ride.

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Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask, $37 (buy), Caudalie Eau de Beaute Beauty Elixir, $49 (buy), Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, $85 (buy)

Have A Safe Flight

Published by bryanboy

Like the rest of the world, I, too, am shocked and devastated on the news of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. My heart goes to the family members, loved ones and friends of the innocent victims of this horrific tragedy. I almost cried when I first read about it on my cellphone. The plane did not crash because of technical or pilot error. The plane was shot down high up in the sky by murderers! 298 innocent lives were killed.

I’m sure you all know that I spend an awful amount of time inside airplanes because of work. Air travel used to be a novel idea, an activity that most people do when they go on holidays or the odd business trip. But for some, like me, air travel is a routine akin to work commute. Many say that statistically, it’s safer to be in a plane than a car but for some strange reason, the more I fly, the more I develop a fear of flying. There’s always that weird, “what if I’m next”, thought at the back of my head that lingers after I board an aircraft.

One of my closest friends told me the other day over lunch that dying by way of an air disaster is his biggest fear. I agree with him completely. The idea of knowing you’re about to die within minutes or seconds is terrifying. For him it’s about being absolutely helpless and the fact that there’s nothing one can do to control situation. For me it’s about the lack of having closure, the lack of being able to say goodbye to my loved ones in a “proper” way. I really don’t want my final send off to be a photo of a designer bag on my plane seat or worse, a selfie on instagram with a plane emoji and a caption saying “I’m off to XXXX (my next destination)”.

I’m scheduled to take four flights next week. Granted, Im traveling to AND from relatively low-risk, safe destinations. I’m not gonna lie through my teeth and say I’m not scared. I am! Unfortunately, there’s not much we can all do but to wish for the best. Or, as my Swedish boo always tell me, have a safe flight.

Bryanboy at the Empire State Building, New York City
Bryanboy at the viewing deck of the Empire State Building, New York
Downtown Manhattan, New York Skyline from Empire State Building
Midtown Manhattan and Uptown, view of New York Skyline from Empire State Building

Sunglasses by Balenciaga, top by Calvin Klein Collection, backpack by Chanel